Project Status Report Templates

5 Reporting Best Practices using Project Status Report Templates

December 21, 2022 by

Project Status Reporting is a crucial part of any project’s journey. Your reporting process is one of the most important means to collaborate with your project team members, and to keep your project sponsors and other stakeholders updated about the progress of projects. Project Status Report Templates help make this process easier through standardization.  

 

Watch Webinar: How to track status of multiple projects in Microsoft 365

 

This article covers: 

What are Project Status Reports 
5 Reporting Best Practices using Project Status Report Templates 
BrightWork 365 Reporting Templates that leverage Microsoft 365 
 

What are Project Status Reports 

Indeed defines Project Status Report as ‘a document that provides updates about the progress being made on a particular project.’ The main purpose of a Project Status Report is to keep all the important information on a project in one place. It should provide project updates such as progress, remaining budget, timeline, etc. with a quick glance.  

The project reports are also valuable to projects as they help to communicate any risks or issues that might derail a project. A quick look at the project status report should inform the project teams if there are any necessary adjustments needed to keep the project on track.  

 

 

5 Reporting Best Practices using Project Status Report Templates   

Project Status Reporting is one of the main asks of the role of a Project Manager. It is the job of the project lead to create, update, and share reports on a regular basis. Let’s look at five Reporting best practices and how Project Status Report Templates make them possible.  

Know your audience  

You can have a wide berth of audience that consumes your project reports to check how a specific project is performing. You need to know who is going to be reading the status reports that you create. A good project report will keep your audience, whether one-to-one or one-to-many, in loop by answering the core questions related to the performance of a project. Having a clear, pre-decided agenda for your report and what it aims to convey is extremely helpful. Make a list of all the data points that should be a part of your project report based on who is your audience, what do they want to know, what is it that you would like them to know, and what aspects of your project should be reported on regularly to keep the project moving smoothly.  

Knowing your audience will help you select the right Project Status Report template for your projects. You can also customize them based on the need of different projects and a different set of audience.  

Make report sharing consistent and timely  

Knowing your audience will also help you decide the frequency of sharing your project reports. Figure how often do you need to update project reports and be consistent with your reporting process. Keep the flow of these reports timely so the project team members and other stakeholders know when and where to expect them. There may be instances when you might need to break this time grid and bring up a review of the report. Certain aspects of your project might need immediate attention from specific team members or sponsors to keep the project on track. Apart from these unique circumstances, a regular flow of reporting is best for efficient collaboration.  

Having ready-to-use templates will save you time, effort, and resources when standardizing your project reporting process. You wouldn’t have to invent your reporting wheel each time you start a new project. Just select the status report templates that you wish to create for a project and duplicate the same for other similar projects.  

Provide ease of access  

Make sure your project status reports are easy to access. See that your project status reports are not hidden or scattered in different places. Tracking a project report and finding information in it should be convenient. Having a designated and centralized place for your project reports makes reporting more transparent and efficient. You can choose to store and update reports with an open access, while also sharing these reports in email or other project channels.  

A complete project management tool will give you a centralized place to create, update, and share your project status reports. With built-in project report templates, you can just go in and create reports that are easy to update and share.  

Create easy to consume reports 

Your project reports may contain a decent amount of high-level data. You need to present it in a manner that it is easily understood by other project team members and senior executives, who may not be aware of the day-to-day happenings of the project. A good project report is easy to comprehend and digest. It has all the relevant information on the project without being too complex or lengthy. Ask if your report highlights the key information on the project and addresses the main concerns of the project participants and sponsors in a simple manner.  

Project report templates help you filter, analyze, and present data in an interactive manner. Templates integrated with Business Intelligence use visual tools such as bars, charts, and graphs to present and explain complex data in a way that is easy to understand. Such advanced, interactive reports enable your senior executives to make timely, data-backed business decisions. 

Socialize sensitive news in advance  

Unforeseen scenarios such as a team member deciding to quit or your project costs running over the budget may arise during the course of a project. In unfavourable situations that are likely to affect the smooth running of your project, it is advised that you prepare your team in advance. A one-on-one communication provides a better cushion to other project stakeholders against an unpleasant surprise. In such cases, the project status report will just memorialize such events, but will not be the first instance where you reveal such information. 

You can bring in other communication tools such as emails, calls, specific project team channels to talk to your project teams and executives. Specific templates can be configured to highlight the risks and issues of project. A good reporting practice is to reach out to your team members and make them aware of the current challenges before they see it in the actual report.   

Include agreed next steps  

In the case of an obstacle arising in the way of a project, teams usually turn to the project manager to lead the way. They want to know what the possible solutions are to overcome that challenge or at least mitigate the risks. However, it is important that your team agrees with the next steps before you include them in your report. Make sure your teammates are on board with the next course of action. Collaborate on aspects such as resource planning, budget allocation, timelines, etc. to align your teams to face the challenge together.  

Once the next course of action on a project is agreed upon, it should reflect in your project status report. With the help of a customizable report template, it should be easy to update project details, dependencies, and costing for a project. Once a template is set up, it is always easier to tweak information within it. Project sponsors and other participants can be apprised of the next steps and adjustments using your updated reports.  

 

BrightWork 365 Project Report Templates that leverage Microsoft 365 

Now you know the main things to keep in mind before setting up your reporting process. You also know how you can make the process convenient and flexible using reporting templates. Let us take you a step further to see how you can use these templates to leverage your Microsoft 365 environment.  

BrightWork 365, a complete Project Portfolio Management (PPM) tool, integrates with Microsoft 365 to help you configure reporting templates that can be customized to suit your project reporting structure. You can use these templates to standardize a project reporting process across different project teams.  

 

BrightWork 365 sits on the Microsoft Power Platform, which brings in the power of Power BI, Power Apps, and Power Automate to help you create a seamless reporting process. BrightWork 365 uses the low-code technology of the Power Platform to design and deploy best practice templates in your environment. The PPM tool uses Power Automate to streamline your processes so you can standardize your reporting structure and report formats. The integration with Power BI enables you to process and analyze data and create interactive project reports that are easy to assimilate. Power BI is one of the most recognized Business Intelligence tools to generate data-driven insights for your reports. 

Finally, you can rely on the built-in security of the Microsoft Power Platform. You can make security and governance easier for your admins by using a unified security system. All Power Platform tools are built on Azure, so you get the same enterprise-grade security and certifications across your project reporting systems.  

 

Image Credit

See how you can use BrightWork 365 Project Status Report Templates to leverage Microsoft 365 
Shubhangi Pandey
Latest posts by Shubhangi Pandey (see all)